Posted Thursday, April 8, 2004 11:26 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Jacksonville developers want to build a $150 million theme park near Brunswick, Georgia, called Steamboat City. The target opening date is summer 2006. The plan includes a roller coaster and family attractions.
Read more from The Florida Times-Union.
Thursday, April 8, 2004 11:27 AM
There's something I hadn't thought much about. I-95 is a fairly busy route, and I'm sure many of those people are vacationers. Good call.
Thursday, April 8, 2004 12:20 PM
This sounds more realistic than most of the proposals for new parks that I read about. That comment about selling stock to raise more capital scares me a little though. I'm always wary of projects that don't have the money in place.
To those of us who commute daily on 95 in the Baltimore-Washington area Jeff's fairly busy comment sounds like a major understatement, though traffic is much lighter on 95 in Georgia than in Maryland.
The location does sound excellent. Orlando is a bit too far for a one day drive from the Washington to New York corridor, or from the midwest cities as well for that matter. Brunswick is already a popular motel stop, making a trip to a park there a likely thing to do. I would think that the trick would be to make the park attractive enough to keep people from rushing on the Orlando first thing in the morning. (That's what I did.) Maybe marketing it as a restful evening after a hard days drive.
Thursday, April 8, 2004 12:49 PM
Honestly, though, how many major roadside, non-destination attractions are truly succesful? Seems to me most people want to get to their vacation spot as quickly as possible, with the possible exception of an hour stop at an outlet mall. Remember that waterpark on ebay halfway between LA and vegas?
They may make a road trip one day to see a non-local attraction (like driving to Kennedy space center from Orlando) but they're not going to stop halfway at a theme park just cause it's close to 95. Plus, if people are only "3.5 hours from the mouse" it seems like they'd rather just get on down to the mouse.
Too, the whole Blackbeard ride and 'Haunted Plantation'... come on! If you want people to stop on their way to Disney, why are you going to try and give them the same experiences they're going to have when they get there???
If this park succeeds, it will be because it creates its own pool of customers. It's not going to be people stopping 'On their way to the mouse'
Thursday, April 8, 2004 1:56 PM
I think it is an excellent location. I drive the Baltimore-Orlando corridor once a year and there is virtually nothing (Other than Pedro...LOL) between Richmond and Jax. Meaning that most of the people traveling this corridor are from Balt-Wash corridor heading to Fla. And along this corridor, you will see plenty of advertising for the Mouse.
Will people stop here on their way to Orlando??? That's a valid question that only time will answer, but I think if people know it's there, they are likely to stop on their way there or on the way home. If they don't know it's there, they are unlikely to stop. My point is that marketing will be extremely important for this park.
Just my two cents..
Thursday, April 8, 2004 2:11 PM
Unlike most of the ridiculous propositions, this one apparently has a pretty substantial feasibility study behind it. As well it should... that's a lot of coin to spend unless you're fairly sure it's going to work.
Thursday, April 8, 2004 2:53 PM
Sounds like a great idea to me. Having once traveled through and stayed in Brunswick, this area is asking for a new park. I stopped there on the way down to WDW, and I'm sure many other traveling tourists would do the same.
Thursday, April 8, 2004 3:58 PM
I believe that this is a great idea for many of the reasons already mentioned. Keeping a balance of Historical scenerios and Wildlife exhibits (even if mechanical - a smart move if you can pull it off) and rides will be tricky at best (remember Freedomland?). Most theme parks have Disney-like attractions already (even within Florida) so that won't hurt the park, and the area does need something. If the money situation works out I say go with it as I would definitely plan a visit.
Friday, April 9, 2004 7:20 AM
"Pitts stressed that Steamboat City will not be "a ride park'' like Wild Adventures near Valdosta"
Sounds like another Cypress Gardens waiting to fail if you ask me.
Friday, April 9, 2004 1:43 PM
I think that would be very neat to make a new theme park!!!!
Saturday, April 10, 2004 8:46 PM
I was stationed at Glynco Naval Air Station (located just outside of Brunswick in Glynn County) when it was being closed down in the 1970's and there was talk way back then of someone buying the former Navy property for a major theme park. It of course never happened and I remember hearing from the locals that the major factor in the death of the plan was how close they were located to Disney. I'm not 100% sure, but I think it was one of the Marriott parks that was being considered for that area.
Sunday, April 11, 2004 11:45 PM
"Pitts stressed that Steamboat City will not be "a ride park'' like Wild Adventures near Valdosta
I think that statement meant there will be rides, but the rides will not be what the park is built around. As in this will probably be much more of an Entertainment park than a Thrill park, ala Silver Dollar City or Dollywood.